by Hermann Oldenberg | 1886 | 27,388 words

Most of the questions referring to the Grihya-sutra of Ashvalayana will be treated of more conveniently in connection with the different subjects which we shall have to discuss in our General Introduction to the Grihya-sutras. Alternative titles: Āśvalāyana-gṛhya-sūtra (आश्वलायन-गृह्य-सूत्र), Ashvalayana, grhya, Āśvalāyanagṛhyasūtra (आश्वलायनगृह्य...

Adhyāya I, Kaṇḍikā 17

1. In the third year the Caula (i.e. the tonsure of the child's head), or according to the custom of the family.

2. To the north of the fire he places vessels which are filled respectively, with rice, barley, beans, and sesamum seeds;

3. To the west (the boy) for whom the ceremony shall be performed, in his mother's lap, bull-dung in a new vessel, and Śamī leaves are placed.

4[1]. To the south of the mother the father (is seated) holding twenty-one bunches of Kuśa grass.

5. Or the Brahman should hold them.

6. To the west of (the boy) for whom the ceremony is to be performed, (the father) stations himself and pours cold and warm water together with (the words), 'With warm water, O Vāyu, come hither!'

7. Taking of that (water), (and) fresh butter, or (some) drops of curds, he three times moistens (the boy's) head, from the left to the right, with (the formula), 'May Aditi cut thy hair; may the waters moisten thee for vigour!'

8[2]. Into the right part (of the hair) he puts each time three Kuśa bunches, with the points towards (the boy) himself, with (the words), 'Herb! protect him!'

9. (With the words,) 'Axe! do no harm to him!' he presses a copper razor (on the Kuśa blades),

10. And cuts (the hair) with (the verse), 'The razor with which in the beginning Savitṛ the knowing one has shaved (the beard) of king Soma and of Varuṇa, with that, ye Brāhmaṇas, shave now his (hair), that he may be blessed with long life, with old age.'

11. Each time that he has cut, he gives (the hairs) with their points to the east, together with Śamī leaves, to the mother. She puts them down on the bull-dung.

12. 'With what Dhātṛ has shaven (the head) of Bṛhaspati, Agni and Indra, for the sake of long life, with that I shave thy (head) for the sake of long life, of glory, and of welfare'—thus a second time.

13[3]. 'By what he may at night further see the sun, and see it long, with that I shave thy (head) for the sake of long life, of glory, and of welfare'—thus a third time.

14. With all (the indicated) Mantras a fourth time.

15. Thus three times on the left side (of the head).

16[4]. Let him wipe off the edge of the razor with (the words), 'If thou shavest, as a shaver, his hair with the razor, the wounding, the well-shaped, purify his head, but do not take away his life.'

17. Let him give orders to the barber, 'With lukewarm water doing what has to be done with water, without doing harm to him, arrange (his hair) well.'

18[5]. Let him have the arrangement of the hair made according to the custom of his family.

19. The rite only (without the Mantras) for a girl.

Footnotes and references:


He cuts off the hair four times on the right side (Sūtras 10-14), three times on the left side (Sūtra 15); each time three Kuśa bunches are required. This is the reason why twenty-one bunches are prescribed.


Each of the four times and of the three times respectively that he cuts off the hair; see the preceding note.


Instead of yena bhūyaś ca rātryām, Pāraskara (II, 1, 16) has, yena bhūriś carā divam.


Comp. Pāraskara II, I, 19; Atharva-veda VIII, 2, 17.


On these family customs, see Gṛhya-saṃgraha-pariśiṣṭa II, 40; Roth, Zur Literatur and Geschichte des Weda, p. 120; Max Müller, History of A. S. L., p. 54 seq.; Weber, Indische Studien, X, 95.

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